Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia Eagles can improve their abysmal offensive line with the Draft's top rated lineman.
For Philadelphia Eagles' fans, if there is one positive to take from a disastrous 2012 season, it's a top-five draft pick.
The Eagles will be selecting at No. 4 in the 2013 NFL Draft, and they have plenty of holes to fill. The recent re-signing of quarterback Michael Vick means that the Eagles will likely overlook the quarterback position in the first round. Instead, they'll likely address the position paid to protect the quarterback.
Philadelphia allowed the fifth-most sacks in the NFL last season. On downs where Michael Vick wasn't sacked, he was running for his life, just barely avoiding sacks. To fix this enormous, offense-stifling problem, CBS Sports' draft analyst Rob Rang believes the Eagles will select Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, the No. 1 rated player on Rang's big board. Of Joeckel, Rang says the following:
Possesses the prototypical build for today's left tackles with a relatively lean, tapered build, long arms and a thick lower half.
Plays with excellent fundamentals. Keeps his knees bent, butt down and both his head and hands up. Alert. Recognizes stunts and zone-blitzes efficiently and without panic...
COMPARES TO: Joe Thomas Cleveland Browns -- Like the Browns' star left tackle, Joeckel boasts a combination of size, strength and athleticism that will one day result in All-Pro status.
A Joe Thomas-type, All-Pro player would be the perfect kickstart to establishing Chip Kelly's offense in Philadelphia. Michael Vick can't be dynamic, LeSean McCoy can't run over defenses and DeSean Jackson can't get deep down field without protection in the trenches.
SB Nation's Dan Kadar also believes that the Eagles will solidify their offensive line in the upcoming draft, but he does not believe Joeckel will be around at No. 4. Instead, he has Philadelphia selecting his second-rated offensive lineman -- tackle Eric Fisher from Central Michigan.
Fisher's rise up NFL Draft boards is one of the bigger stories of the offseason. Once a fringe first-round pick, Fisher is now firmly entrenched inside the top 10. The Eagles gave up Demetress Bell last week and it may not be wise to rely on Jason Peters coming back healthy. Fisher fits Chip Kelly's offense, which requires offensive linemen to have good stamina and movement skills.